1st March, 2013
The Deputy Editor-in-Chief/Deputy Managing Director of The Sun Newspapers, Mr. Femi Adesina, was today elected in Premier Hotel, Ibadan, capital of Oyo State as the President of the Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE) at the body’s national convention, tagged Ibadan 2013.
Adesina, a seasoned journalist who had since been sworn in alongside other members of his executive, took over from Gbenga Adefaye, General Manager, Publication of Vanguard Newspaper, whose two terms of four years ended same day.
The new president scored 149 votes to defeat his only challenger, Tukur Abdulrahman, Managing Director, New Nigeria, who scored 57 votes.
Other offices contested are Deputy President, Vice President (North) and Standing Committee.
In the election, Aisha Sule emerged the Deputy President with 137 votes, while Suleiman Uba Gaya was elected the Vice President (North) with 102 votes.
Other offices were occupied unopposed.
Victor Agusiobo, Vice President (East); Steve Ayorinde, Vice President (West); Isaac Ighure (Secretary); Mustapha Isa (Assistant Secretary); Ogbang Akwaji (Treasurer) and Funke Egbemode (Social /Publicity Secretary).
The team will hold office for two years.
After announcing the results of the elections, Mohammed Haruna, former Managing Director, New Nigeria Newspaper, who acted as the presiding officer, remarked that the process was according to the rules of the guild.
Speaking to journalists after been declared new president, Adesina thanked God and his colleagues for rising above the primordial sentiment of ethinicism in casting their votes.
He pledged to swing to action immediately to realise his campaign promises in good time.
Chief among them, he said, was the dream to build a befitting secretariat for the body in Abuja.
Earlier, the immediate past President had thanked his colleagues for their support while his two term lasted,
Prior to the conduct of the election, Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi urged the body to ensure that the election was credible, pledging support also to the winner.
Ajimobi also urged the Nigeria media practitioners to convoke a media conference where various challenges facing journalism would be discussed. One main issue that Ajimobi would want the conference to examine is the way the internet is affecting the prcatice.
According to him, “Online journalism is the new way and it guarantees availability and it is easier to engage in. However, this is a threat to hard copy newspaper publication. There is need for journalists to call a conference. If politicians can call for political conference why can’t the media champion a reform in the light of the growing popularity and abuse of social media?”
Decrying the danger posed by online media to journalism with the non-professionals infiltrating the platform, the governor noted, “With online or internet publications, people that should ordinarily not be there are coming in everyday.
Availability of news online has affected the fortune of newspapers. This has given room for those who engaged in unethical practice that destroyed people’s image”.
Gbenga Adefaye, the NGE outgoing President, said, “Four years ago, we traversed the entire country like politicians, seeking your mandate, making promises to improve the profile of the NGE and not put you to shame. We successfully re-focused the editors on national issues through our flagship, all Nigerian Editors Conference. We built a virtual office and reviewed outstanding reports on our constitution.”
He noted that the present funding, through the N10, 000 membership fees, conference fees and donations, were inadequate.
Also, the Chairman of the occasion, Ray Ekpu, speaking about Ibadan in the history of journalism in the country, recalled the role of the media in fighting for democracy.
Ekpu stressed the importance of training and retraining for journalists, stressing, “As gate keepers, we face a lot of challenges everyday. Our people must brace up to the challenges as the society generally does not like the truth. Our role is prescribed by the constitution. We all fought for the Freedom of Information and now that we have it we should ensure that we use it. It will help this society. Those that will take over from the outgoing executives must continue to lift the banner in good light. We are happy that Gbenga (Adefaye) is not asking for third term. As journalists, we must do what we say others should do.”
Former Governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba commended Adefaye’s for improving on the standard he met saying, “With people like Gbenga, people like us can now go and die”.
He described Sam Amuka, the publisher of Vanguard Newspapers as the oldest practising journalist in the country.